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  • Writer's pictureVrinda Singh Chauhan

The Civilization Killer---4

The Persian Civilization

Can time be ever coffined? If your answer is no, the Persian Civilization is sure to dampen your spirits.The modern Iran can still whiff the culture and religion of that Iron Age Dynasty which went to rack and ruin. More than burial spaces, the Persian civilization fell short on time. The former UNESCO world heritage site is the prodigy of the Persian cultural discipline.

Far in the Balkan Peninsula of Europe, as far as a sight could gaze, stretching to the India's Indus Valley, there lived a dynasty, strong as iron and rich as art and technology. During 500 B.C., semi-nomadic tribes were scattered all around the territory. The frontiers were marked with dense seclusion and some stranded bones. Confined to their spaces, the tribes- Media, Lydia and Babylon often strangled to raise the cattle on the Iranian Plateau. Trivial arguments substantially turned into terrific brawls and consequently to massacre. The years of communal unrest didn't come to rest until a commoner, Cambyses, challenged the three tribes. Early in 9th Century, the goats of the three tribes, unwary of the frontiers, mated with each other. The tribes, Media and Lydia declared war to win over the off-spring of the expectant she-goat. The agreed directives of the war were that the rivals would stand 1 mile apart and the leader in command would hold the red flag. Either of the two leaders, who drops the flag first would march to the opponents and attack subsequently. The Medians and Lydians on the Iranian plateau assembled for the rampage.

"I will take over the off-spring, if you think you can beat me. Prove your worth", a roaring voice, unflinching and sturdy fainted in fractions of seconds. The militia retired from their war positions, with a look-out of the audacious frontman. After a minute of high and low look-out, a stout, tall and tranquil man appeared crossing the highlands. "Who are you?", enquired the second man of Babylon. "My sword would be sufficient to introduce my persona", uttered the cheeky Cambyses. Two soldiers each from Lydia and Media tribes tasted the ferocity of Cambyses's sword. while the rest kneeled beguiled by his valor and vigor. That day, Cambyses took over the throne and ruled over all the nomadic-tribes on collective consent. The second day to the union of all the tribes on Iranian plateau called for celebrations. Filled with exaltation, the king of the Media tribe, Astyages, proposed the hand of his daughter, Mandane in marriage. Mandane was beautiful and had a sense of eccentricity. The duo got married next day, exchanging vows to take care of each other and the kingdom.

The love outstretched that starry night and two souls amalgamated in the heat of lustful passion, unlocking the love locks with the keys of proximity .

Astyages couldn't sleep that night, not in the sorrow of his daughter's separation from him but an uncanny prophetic dream. A flood followed by fruit wines flowing down the pelvis of his daughter, Mandane, drowned the entire kingdom in the perils of wild water. Distraught by the dream, Astyages, decided to visit the Persian prophet, Zoroaster's disciples. With the first stroke of the sun-light, Astyages, entered the temple in search of interpretation to his dream. The oldest of the disciple, explained the dream to be a threat to his life. He said, "Your very own grandson, would be the reason of your death". Devastated with the prophecy, Astyages, requested the king, Cambyses to let him take care of her expecting daughter. Cambyses agreed to the plea happily and asked Mandane to spend her expecting days with her father.

Within a month, Mandane concieved and was declared pregnant by the physicians. She kissed goodbye to Cambyses and promised to return with a loving child, unaware that her father is plotting against the unborn. Eight months later, Mandane gave birth to a dead child. This information was circulated in the kingdom by Astyages in the fear of loosing his life at the hands of the alive but dead declared child. Mandane was in trauma and Cambyses broke into tears for the first time in his life. Mandane returned back to her husband mourning the death of her first child. Astyages wanted to get the child be-headed but was stopped by one of his advisers, Haspargus. The adviser, Haspargus, took the child with him and handed him over to Mithradates, one of the trustworthy shepherd of Astyages. The deal was to exchange the infants. Mithradates's wife gave birth to a stillborn child the same day, the throne-prince was born. The dead child was cremated with all honors of a heir.

A decade flew in a blink of an eye. Cambyses and Mandane didn't forget the death of their child. Since then they didn't even think of raising another one, such was the love for stillborn. Out there amongst the commoners, Cyrus, the dead-declared child of Cambyses and Mandane was living in secrecy. He was of 10 years age now with inherited vigor and valor. The brightest and strongest of all the kinds of the neighborhood, children used to praise him for his wits and power. Cyrus's commands were followed by the kids of all age groups and whosoever defied his orders had to pay by being beaten up. It happened one day that one of the nobleman's kid refused to follow his command and Cyrus knocked him near to death.

The news outspread like a wild fire and the curiosity of knowing the family of child, surged in the royal family. Astyages doubted the child to be of Cambyses and so summoned him in his court before his biological parents could have come to know about him. Astyages enquired the child with the shepherd together and recollected the incident which dated back to Cyrus's birth. The shepherd requested Astyages to not to separate him from his adopted son. But Astyages denied mercy, plotting to turn Cyrus against Cambyses. The shepherd family was slaughtered and Cyrus was sent to his biological parents in Persia. Astyages presented Cyrus as their son bestowed by the prophet himself. Cambyses and Mandane took no time in accepting the child and thanked prophet for this adorable gift. Haspargus, the closest adviser had to pay for his 10 years back advice. The atrocious Astyages, chopped his 11 year old son into pieces, roasting some while boiling the others. The act was to punish him for his advice as the child had grown powerful and was certainly a proven threat to Astyages.

The act of Cannibalism didn't end here. Haspargus was tricked in to eating the meat of his son in a gala feast on the return of Cyrus to his biological parents. Haspargus was presented with his son's head, hands and feet served in a platter, looking at which Haspargus shouted in agony and pain of eating his own child un-knowingly.

An Achaemenian empire was standing out in the able leadership of the king, Cambyses and his son Cyrus. With the advent of time, Cyrus's love grew more for Cassandane. Cassandane, daughter of the Babylon king, Pharnaspes. The intense love ended into a marriage with two sons and three daughters, Cambyses II, Bardiya , Atossa, Artystone, and Roxane respectively. The Persian Civilization was growing in metalwork, rock carvings, weaving and architecture. Persia was now a hub of culture, religion, science, art and technology. Things were made to fall right in place. When one day, Cassandane was poisoned by Astyages to weaken Cyrus in his powers. The exemplary love of Cyrus and Cassandane came to an end with Cassandane's death. Unaware of the reason, the King, Cyrus, mourned in her death for months.

The father to Cyrus and grandfather to Cambyses II , Bardiya , Atossa, Artystone, and Roxane, breathed his last two months after the death of Cassandane. The growing illness and remorse of not being able to save the love of his son, incapacitated him. This laid the foundation of the downfall of the Persian Kingdom. Cyrus, grew tolerant to all the religions budding in his kingdom. Though Cyrus ruled by the scriptures of Zoroastrian , he promoted other religions like Islam too. Cyrus was a firm preserver of humanity and hence never imposed his decisions on his kingdom dwellers. Though Persia's diverse citizenry continued practicing their own ways of life, but the faith of the people in the rulers dropped significantly after the death of Cyrus, the great. Cyrus, came to know of the plot of his grandfather Astyages. Boiling in anger, Cyrus beheaded his grandfather and stabbed his heart with the dagger drenched in the blood of his love, Cassandane. Cassandane vomited blood on his dagger after consuming the poison on her deathbed. Cyrus stabbed his heart uttering, "Cassandane, I took my revenge and my soul searches your refuge. I am coming, hold me strong".

The successors like Bardiya and Cambyses II couldn't conserve the diversity of Persia and hence one day, the Greeks attacked the empire. Alexander of Greek invaded the dynasty, influencing the three daughters of Cyrus. The kingdom was tattered into small lands while some rulers ruled the bare-lands with the consent of Alexander, after the invasion.

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